Best Wood Stoves in Canada
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How to Choose the Best Wood Stoves in Canada
Nothing feels better than coming home on a chilly winter evening to warm your feet near the fireplace and sip hot cocoa with marshmallows.
Wouldn’t it be great to have a controlled fire in your house — in a wood-burning stove?
If that sounds like what you’re looking for, check out our list of the best wood stoves in Canada and go through a detailed buying guide that will answer all of your questions concerning this appliance.
A Quick Preview
Types of Wood Stoves Explained
All the wood stoves in Canada are classified by the processes they use for burning wood. Those are catalytic and non-catalytic combustion. If you have no idea what that means — read on!
Catalytic Wood Stoves
These use the catalytic combustion process and are equipped with a catalytic damper — a coated ceramic element that resembles a honeycomb. The exhaust passes through this honeycomb and the smoke particles and gasses ignite and burn, which allows for lower emission levels.
Catalytic wood burners have the following advantages:
- longer and more even heat output;
- higher energy efficiency;
- fewer pollutants in the exhaust smoke.
Note, though, that the catalytic element should be replaced every couple of years, and the stove will need more frequent, deep cleaning after every season. Plus, catalytic stoves are generally more expensive than non-catalytic models.
Non-Catalytic Wood Stoves
As the name implies, these stoves don’t have a catalytic combustor. However, they reduce emission levels by having a slightly different construction and features, such as:
- a baffle that creates a longer path for the exhaust so that most of the pollutants can burn off;
- firebox insulation to heat up the exhaust;
- air tubes that re-introduce the heated air into the stove and create a secondary burn.
Typically, these elements — a baffle, a firebox, and tubes — will also need regular replacement because they tend to deteriorate under the high heat.
It’s also worth noting that non-catalytic stoves are cheaper than those with a catalytic combustor and will work better for occasional use and for warmer climates.
But here’s the real deal:
Deciding on the type is really a matter of personal preference. If you want a modern and more technological model, go for a catalytic stove. For those who prefer a more traditional wood burner, a non-catalytic stove will make a good pick.
Choosing the Right Wood Burning Stove: Essentials You Need to Consider
Choosing a top-rated wood stove in Canada isn’t that hard if you consider all the important factors in advance:
- Coverage area. This is the first thing you have to determine when choosing a wood stove because you certainly don’t want any cold corners in the room. Every model has a coverage area it’s designed to heat, so be sure to check this with the manufacturer. Both room size and stove size matter here.
- Heat output. It is marked in British Thermal Units (BTU) and shows how much heat the stove can produce. Typically, it takes approximately 3,000 BTUs to heat a standard 10 x 10 feet (3 x 3 meter) room (1). Also, note that the heat output may depend on the type of wood you use. Hardwoods are slower to burn and produce more heat, which makes them more effective during the winter period, whereas softwoods burn faster and have smaller heat output, so you can use them during spring and fall months.
- Location. Your choice of a wood stove also depends on where you’re going to install it. Typically, stoves are put in well-insulated places, so basements or boiler rooms are out of consideration. Placing the stove in the center of a room is a good idea — this way, the heat will radiate from it and will evenly warm up the place. Note that it’s better to draw the room’s layout with all the furniture elements arranged on it so that you could better understand where the stove can be installed and which design will work best for that location.
- Firebox size. A highly rated wood stove with a large firebox can hold up more wood and will burn it for a longer time, which makes it more efficient. Also, the larger the firebox, the less work you’ll have to do to prepare the wood before you put it in there. However, models with a big firebox are likely to be more expensive, so keep that in mind when outlining your budget.
- Safety considerations. Installing a wood burner for residential use requires some safety measures. First, the stove and all the corresponding parts and accessories should meet the CSA B415.1-10 safety standard (2). Second, choose an installation company or an individual who passed the Wood Energy Technical Training (WETT) program: this ensures that they are qualified to install wood burners according to safety standards (3)
The best type of hardwood for burning is evergreen oak: it produces around 36.6 million BTUs per cord (4).
Our Top Wood Stove Recommendation
Editor’s Choice - Drolet HT2000
So, let me present to you one of the best wood stoves in Canada I reviewed recently. The Drolet HT2000 features a simple design and requires almost no assembly, making a great indoor zone heat source.
The appliance is made of quality fireproof materials: a carbon steel body, stainless steel air tubes, aluminosilicate fiber C-cast baffle, silica firebrick, and ceramic glass door. Even when the wood has burned, these materials will help keep the stove warm for a long time, thus maintaining a more comfortable temperature in the house.
Now, the stove has a really large firebox — it can fit logs up to 22 inches (56 cm) long. Depending on the type of wood you’re going to burn, a single load may last you for up to 8 hours!
Overall, the Drolet HT2000 is a reliable heat source perfect for larger households. It will serve you for hundreds of evenings, making your home pleasantly warm and cozy.
- delivers more heat with less fuel;
- perfect for heating large areas;
- large window, allows you to watch the fire;
- built to last;
- easy to clean and maintain.
- on the heavier side.
- the door could be a bit tight, causing you to apply the force to open it.
What temperature does a wood-burning stove reach?
An average burning range for wood stoves of decent quality is 150-315°C. But it doesn’t mean it can’t reach higher temperatures. In modern wood stoves, users can easily control the temperature by allowing more or less air in.
How far does a wood-burning stove have to be from the wall?
If your wood stove is certified by a Standards Council of Canada, the clearance requirements will be stated in the manual. In the case of uncertified stoves, the clearance is 900 to 1,200 mm from the wall, depending on the stove type (3). Note that this distance can be reduced by using different types of shields.
What to put under a wood stove?
Non-combustible materials, such as sheet metal, grouted ceramic tile, or mortared brick will make the best flooring under and around a wood-burning stove.
How much does a wood stove weigh?
An average wood stove weight ranges between 150 and 350 kg and can reach up to 500 kg, depending on the size and materials.
What size wood stove do I need?
Check the firebox size: for a 2,000 sq.ft (186 sq.m.) home, a 2-2.5 cubic feet (0.05-0.07 cubic meter) firebox is perfect. If you plan to heat a small cabin or a garage, you may want to look for smaller models with a firebox capacity of 1.5 cubic feet (0.04 cubic meters).
A wood stove is an energy and cost-efficient alternative to central heating in cold regions. It can easily warm up the whole house and make a great focal point for cozy family gatherings during winter evenings. The Drolet HT2000 stove we reviewed in this article has everything you need: it is efficient, made of quality materials, and great for large areas. If your budget allows buying it, you won’t be disappointed. Have you used wood burners before? What was your experience? Tell us below!
- Dale Yalanovsky, (n.d.) Wood Burning Stove Sizes. Retrieved from https://homeguides.sfgate.com/wood-burning-stove-sizes-64761.html
- Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (2012). Code of Practice for Residential Wood Burning Appliances. Retrieved from https://www.ccme.ca/files/Resources/air/wood_burning/pn_1479_wood_burning_code_eng.pdf
- A Guide for Residential Wood Heating. Retrieved from https://www.heartlandfarmmutual.com/sites/default/files/editor_images/Guide_Residential_Wood_Heating_0.pdf
- Steffani Cameron (2018, October 31) How Hot Can Wood Stoves Get? Retrieved from https://www.hunker.com/12472025/how-hot-can-wood-stoves-get
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